Our followers in Western Massachusetts are probably familiar with Stanley Park. It is large, beautiful, well-known, and has lots of amenities. Those of you in Eastern Massachusetts (and everywhere!) who went to Westfield State University–as I did!–are surely familiar with Stanley Park. The students are lucky enough to have it practically on campus. It’s not officially, but it might as well be. If neither of these things apply to you, and you’re one of our Greater Boston readers, this park may still be worth a visit. It is quite close to Six Flags New England and other tourist attractions, so it is a doable side visit.
As usual, playgrounds are a top priority for us and Stanley Park has a great one–a relatively recent rebuild. It is large, and ADA accessible, with a toddler structure as well. Stanley Park is quite accessible overall, and has an annual “Wheel Walk” tour to showcase this.
Some playground highlights include an extra large twisty slide, and a huge canopied sandbox. The playground is fenced, and dogs aren’t allowed in that area, but are welcome leashed in the rest of the park.
(Click to enlarge thumbnails)
Stanley Park was founded by philanthropist Frank Stanley Beveridge in 1949. He moved to Massachusetts as a teen but he was originally from Canada–a legacy that is shown in the famous black squirrels he introduced to the park.
Stanley Park has many other amenities. It will always hold a special place in our hearts because Craig and I got married there, right between the Rose Garden, the fountain, and the dinosaur tracks! It also has many other award-winning gardens, hiking trails, playing fields, and event pavilions. They are known for their historical tours and the wide variety of community-building events they host.
Please take some time to check out some more photos at the Facebook feed and the park webpage linked above. We were rushing around with small kids and didn’t have time to do the gorgeous grounds justice photography-wise.
Do you have any favorite Stanley Park memories?